In society and in the media you are going to find many answers to why somebody sufferers from postpartum depression. There will be answers such as lack of money, a traumatic birth, lack of sleep, not being able to breastfeed, a relationship break up. There are millions of so called 'reasons' why somebody suffers from postpartum depression.
But here's an interesting thought. Why is it that not everyone who goes through these challenges suffers from postpartum depression? Why is it that some people can handle these events with minimal fuss, but others get depressed? Is it really about the event, or is it something else?
Consider for a moment what your reaction would be if a spider was to crawl down the wall beside where you were sitting. Would you simply get up, grab a glass jar and take it outside, or would you freak out and run a mile because you are terrified of spiders?
If it were the latter and you feel an enormous amount of fear, you would also be feeling the chemical of adrenaline rushing through your body. But this doesn't happen to everyone who encounters spiders does it? It only happens to those that are scared of spiders. What makes you scared of spiders? Is it the spider, or is it what you believe about spiders?
Not everyone holds the same beliefs about spiders, so their reactions to a spider crawling down the wall beside them are different too. Similarly not everyone experiences the chemical of adrenaline when it comes to spiders either, because their beliefs are not creating that fear and hence the chemical response to occur.
Now let's apply this same analogy to your postpartum depression. What if the cause of your depression is not all of these troublesome events in your life? What if it's your beliefs that are causing your depression too, just like it causes you to freak out over a spider? Sure there is the chemical imbalance in the brain that is present with depression that we need to consider, but what if it is your beliefs about life that are triggering that chemical reaction to occur, just like with the spider?
This would definitely explain why one person becomes depressed about certain life events where another does not. They each perceive that situation differently.
The truth is that any type of stress never occurs because of an event. It is because of how we perceive that event and what we perceive that event to mean about ourselves. There is always a self-worth component to all stress related disorders.
As we have been raised, we have been taught to view the world in certain ways and we hold beliefs and expectations about how life is 'supposed to go'. We learn this predominantly from our parents or primary care givers, but also from other family, culture, religion, media, education, peers and other major influences in our lives. In this 'get your life right' world, we are also taught that our self-worth is dependent on what we do, are and have, so if we are not living up to these expectations then we are taught that we are not as worthy as we could be. We learnt to rate our self-worth as being more or less and we attach it to what we believe is the 'right path for our lives.
Somebody with postpartum depression believes that their worth has diminished to the point of being a complete failure and they feel like they just could not be bothered trying anymore. This is because they have perceived the events in their life to be reflective of their self-worth. They have attached their self-worth to how their life unfolds.
The answers to stopping postpartum depression, or any stress related disorder, is to change the way you view your life and to learn an accurate view of your self-worth. Understanding why you are worthy just the way you are is learning how to stop attaching your worth to getting life to go 'right', will result in the demise of your depression.
All stress is a conflict between belief (what you are thinking) and reality (what is actually happening and the correct perception of the situation). We hold onto the beliefs that are ingrained to us from childhood and when they do not match what we are experiencing, we find that we are stressed, depressed or anxious.
There is a distinct mind-body connection between what we think and how we feel, so it makes complete sense that the way to stop postpartum depression is to change the way you are viewing the challenges that arise as a mom. Why do you think therapists can be very useful in postpartum depression treatment. They aren't treating the chemical imbalance, they are treating the beliefs behind the chemical imbalance.
The reality is that there are going to be loads of ups and downs that occur in motherhood, just like there is in other aspects of our life. It won't be any of those down times that cause you to feel depressed, it will be your perception of these events and if you don't correct your mindset that is responsible for this perception, then you are likely to do depression over and over and over again, every time life doesn't go to plan.
So how do you change? The same way you learnt to hold this unproductive mindset to begin with. It was through continual exposure to your environment that taught and reinforced the very beliefs that are causing your depression right now, so it will be through this same repetition that you will be able to change the way you view life now.
Your thoughts are the answers to your postpartum depression recovery and when you get that and start actively and consciously changing your current thinking to be in alignment with reality (of life and self-worth), then you will overcome your postpartum depression and become the Happy Mum you want to be.
Change your mind and you change everything.